Spooning affects sleep quality, study reveals

A new study carried out by researchers from the University of Michigan, recently released, brings surprising revelations about the impact of sleep sharing in animals, including mice.

Research has shown that cuddling, known for its comfort and closeness, can affect sleep in complex ways, including both positive and disruptive effects.

Impact of shared sleeping

Scientists observed sleep behavior in mice, identifying a behavior they called ‘somatolonging’ – an active search for sleep. physical contact before and during sleep.

However, this desire for contact can disturb the sleep of other individuals in the group.

Spooning can result in sleep interruptions – Image: Getty Images/Reproduction

To better understand this dynamic, the researchers created an apparatus that allowed mice to choose between sleeping close to a congener or in solitude.

The results indicated that, even under ideal temperature conditions, rodents chose to leave a comfortable place to ensure social contact during sleep.

Sleep synchronization and disturbances

Although shared sleep has shown synchronizations in several neurophysiological measures, such as sleep and wake timing, as well as REM and NREM sleep, it has also resulted in disruptions to each other’s sleep.

These interruptions can harm sleep quality, both in animals and humans.

The researchers highlighted that, although there is synchronization between individuals who share sleep, especially between male brothers, it is still not completely clear what motivates individuals, humans or animals, to choose situations that could compromise sleep. sleep.

The findings offer a new perspective on the motivation for physical contact during sleep and the plasticity of social behavior during this period, although the motivation behind these choices remains to be further defined.

So while cuddling and bed-sharing can offer emotional comfort for both humans and animalsthe study highlights that there is a price to pay: sleep disturbances that can affect the quality and adequate rest of each individual involved.

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